JAKOB’S WIFE on Shudder is a new vampire horror movie with old-school practical effects and an awesome cast. The only drawback, for me, was that it felt a little too long. Definitely worth checking out for fans of classic horror movies. Read our full Jakob’s Wife movie review here!
JAKOB’S WIFE is a new Shudder vampire horror movie that stars Barbara Crampton and Larry Fessenden. And yes, this alone is more than enough reason to check it out. And you really should, if you enjoy the old-school horror movies with buckets of fake blood and lots of practical effects.
Forget about CGI and strange transformation scenes. This Shudder addition plays out more like an homage to the classic vampire and slasher movie. Lots of fun for horror fans!
Continue reading our Jakob’s Wife movie review below and find it on Shudder from August 19, 2021.
Forget all the vampire rules
It’s not that Jakob’s Wife completely reimagines the vampire story. However, you also shouldn’t think that you know the “rules” for being (or becoming) a vampire. This is something I usually really like; When movies use the old tropes to immediately make it clear that “No, you don’t know which rules apply here!”
Also, this movie never takes itself too seriously. This is all fun and tribute. Both a tribute of horror in general and particularly the very classic vampire movies. You’ll know that when you see “The Master”.
For the record, if “The Master” looks familiar in their androgynous form, it just might be because the actor, Bonnie Aarons, is famous for playing another [newer] iconic horror characters. Bonnie Aarons is “The Nun” from James Wan’s The Conjuring universe – introduced in The Conjuring 2 movie.
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In Jakob’s Wife her character is different in every single way. Still, those familiar facial features and intense eyes do lend an extra layer. In a very good way!
Barbara Crampton shines!
We always like Barbara Crampton here at Heaven of Horror – as do many horror fans. For Jakob’s Wife, she is also on board as a producer and helped push this movie to actually be made. When you watch it, you can see why because she was born to play this role right now.
YOU NEED MORE BARBARA CRAMPTON
Barbara Crampton is simply brilliant as Anne, who is known mostly as “Jakob’s Wife”. Since Jakob is the small-town Minister, she is often reduced to being on his arm or in the background. Jakob is portrayed by Larry Fessenden and he is also the perfect actor for this role. The two just work together in a way the lifts the story!
And just like Barbara Crampton is producing horror movies at a steady pace these years, Larry Fessenden has also moved behind the camera. Check out our review of his horror movie Depraved here!
Fortunately, both do also still appear in front of the camera, which we hope will continue for decades to come. In genre movies, age is never an issue… quite the opposite. If you were a final girl in the 70s or 80s, you’re a horror icon now!
Watch Jakob’s Wife on Shudder!
Travis Stevens is the director and screenplay co-writer of this vampire horror movie on Shudder. His previous feature film as a director was Girl on the Third Floor which has a way too low IMDb rating of 4.6 (as of writing this review). Don’t be fooled by that. Sure, it has a few issues, but overall, it also has a lot going it!
The other writers of Jakob’s Wife are Kathy Charles and Mark Steensland. Kathy Charles also wrote the script for Castle Freak which, I’m sorry to say, was mostly lost on me. This time around, I am much happier because the style of the director captures all the elements missing from Castle Freak. Mostly the campiness that makes such a story work!
DO CHECK OUT
If Jakob’s Wife was just a good 10 minutes shorter, we would have gone up to a higher rating. It’s still very much worth a solid recommendation. Some will love this vampire movie and others will probably think it’s “too much”. Well, this movie was clearly made for the first group and not the latter. Something I respect deeply.
You can’t please everyone and whenever there are people that either hate or love your movie, you know you’ve been extreme enough with your style and direction. I actually hope Travis Stevens will continue making movies that immediately feel different – and which people will love or hate. It’s a huge plus in my book and makes for many happy horror fans.
Jakob’s Wife is out on Shudder from August 19, 2021.
Director: Travis Stevens
Writers: Kathy Charles, Mark Steensland, Travis Stevens
Stars: Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Bonnie Aarons, Nyisha Bell, Mark Kelly, Sarah Lind, Robert Rusler, Jay DeVon Johnson
Anne, married to a small-town Minister, feels her life has been shrinking over the past 30 years. Encountering “The Master” brings her a new sense of power and an appetite to live bolder. However, the change comes with a heavy body count.